Hiring a nanny is an important decision! You are trusting this caregiver to look after your children and having someone in your home for 20, 40, or maybe even more hours a week. It is a choice you will want to get right. Our friends at GTM provide some common areas that may get overlooked when going through the hiring process.
1. Knowing what you want in a nanny.
This may seem obvious … you need someone to care for your children in your home while you work. But finding the right nanny for your family is more than that. What type of personality are you looking for? Do they have a similar child-rearing philosophy and approach to discipline? Do you want them to be active with your kids and take them on walks and to playgrounds?
Your nanny job description will spell out the experience, background, skills, and education level you seek in a nanny. That will help you narrow the pool of candidates for your position. Also, make sure you are bringing someone in your home who you are comfortable with and who will meet the needs of you and your children.
2. Giving yourself enough time to make a smart hire.
Even with a good job description and a strong idea of what you want in a nanny, it could take time to find the right fit. You will need to sort through applicants, conduct interviews, set up a trial day or time to meet with your family for your top candidates. This process should be measured in weeks and not days. Give yourself one to three months to find a nanny.
Our placement agency can save you time and hassles associated with finding a nanny. We pre-screen every nanny presented to you, check their recent work history, run background checks, and make sure their CPR and vaccines are all up to date. Based on your requirements, we can sometimes have a group of quality candidates for you to review in just a few days!
3. Determining the total cost of employing a nanny.
You may have budgeted for your nanny’s wages, but there are other costs involved when employing a nanny. You will need to consider:
- Employer taxes – which can be reduced or even eliminated with a Dependent Care FSA and/or the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.
- Workers’ compensation – will help cover medical costs and lost wages if your nanny gets hurt on the job.
- Overtime pay – for those weeks when you may need your caregiver for more than 40 hours.
- Benefits – health benefits and other perks help attract the top candidates.
- Back-up childcare – when your nanny takes time off.
- Holiday/end-of-year bonus – typically one to two week’s wages.
- Annual raises – just like in the traditional workforce, nannies should have the opportunity to have annual performance reviews and receive a raise if warranted.
- Family changes – if you have another child or add a family pet, you should boost your nanny’s pay.
- Job responsibilities – if you need to add duties above and beyond what was agreed to in the initial work agreement – perhaps housekeeping or preparing family meals – your nanny should get a raise.
4. Having backup childcare.
What will you do for childcare when your nanny has time off or calls in sick? Will a parent take time off work? Do you have family, friends, or neighbors who can step in and help? We can sometimes provide backup caregivers on short notice, but we recommend having a plan of action so you are not scrambling for childcare at the last minute.
5. Figuring out payroll, taxes and insurance.
Hiring a nanny means you are now an employer and have payroll and tax responsibilities. GTM can walk you through everything you need to do as a household employer. Or you can (800) 929-9213 for a free consultation and they will be happy to talk about their household payroll service.
Payroll and taxes may seem like a hassle and paying “off the books” is an easier way to go. But there are big risks in not complying with tax laws and it is easy to get caught. Plus, your nanny gets important protections and benefits when paid legally.
Also, your nanny is an employee and is not considered an independent contractor.
6. Writing a nanny contract.
A nanny contract is a detailed outline of the work engagement. It establishes a clear understanding between you, as the employer, and your nanny regarding their duties and responsibilities and helps reduce the likelihood of issues and misunderstandings during their employment. A nanny contract will also set the tone of your working relationship with open and clear communications. Aunt Ann’s provides a free contract for full-time placements drafted specifically for your position by our agency’s labor attorney.